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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    9

    Default Refinishing areas of trim

    I am in the process of buying a 1910 home with most wood trim in good shape, but there are certain areas where the finish appears to have been rubbed off. Is there a way to correct these spots without removing and refinishing ALL the trim? I am attaching a picture that shows the type of wear I am referring to. The thought of removing, sanding, restaining, etc. is daunting, but I don't what to attempt something that will worsen the problem.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    Yup, I could do that for ya.

    I would use the liquid trans-tint dyes from Homestead Finishing.

    1- Lay down a coat of Zinnser's SealCoat (dewaxed shellac) over the affected areas.

    2- Mix up/blend the appropriate trans-tint colors to match in some SealCoat and apply until proper color depth is achieved.

    3- Add protective clear coat(s) over the top.

    The trans-tint have remarkable clarity and are very light-fast.
    But.....the only way I would approach this is with a spray gun and almost without doubt....the HVLP turbine unit.

    You could do the same for yourself, but you might have to run a few more experimental color blends than I would to hit the target color. Time well spent though.

    Mix up the trans-tints with the shellac so that it requires several passes to reach the right depth of color and then "sneak up" on the final result a little at a time......VERY carefully feathering the perimeter into the existing/original finish.

    You can put up to 70 drops of liquid trans-tint in 8 ounces of SealCoat and still have great control of a "build-able" result via numerous light spray coats.......and have no negative effects on the curing or durability of the SealCoat shellac.

    I wouldn't personally try this with a brush because shellac dries so fast that it's easy to get in trouble when working with colored shellac (think blotches of heavy color) and because you'd likely have some streaking in the color as a result of the brushing even if all went as well as it could.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 04-10-2008 at 09:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    Before you go with any dyes or stains, try wiping the worn area with mineral spirits, turpentine, etc. to see if it matches the finished area. You may only have the finish worn off. If it matches you would only need to sand lightly and refinish with whatever was used in the first place.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    How would I determine what was used originally? I know that there are some areas that get very sticky in humid weather and I'm assuming that these areas are shellaced, but could it be tung oil or linseed oil?

    Any advice musch appreciated...this is driving me crazy to look at.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    You say some areas, if you are talking about around knobs and handles or the push area on a door, it's quite possible you just have a build up of oils from long time contact with peoples hands, or grease and oil build up in the kitchen. Cleaning would probably be the first step.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    I agree that oils, etc. may be part of the issue. I have inspected the finish very carefully today and I think it must be something like shellac-I doubt that anything has been done to the wood since it was originally finished which was prior to the invention of polyurethane.

    I followed your advice on using turpentine to determine whether or not I can just put another coat of whatever the original finish was. What I found was that in some areas (around knobs, etc.) the application of the turpentine did bring the color back and so I think I could get away with that, but in other areas it did not (there are two spots where it appears that the finish was mechanically removed-these areas did NOT get darker with the application) Should i even attempt to try and spot stain these areas or is this likely to create a bigger problem?

    I have tried cleaning the wood with Murphy's but it isn't having much impact on the worst gunk- and I made the mistake of scrubbing some areas which effectively took the finish off-what would you recommend?

    Thanks for all your help!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkerbell View Post
    I agree that oils, etc. may be part of the issue. I have inspected the finish very carefully today and I think it must be something like shellac-I doubt that anything has been done to the wood since it was originally finished which was prior to the invention of polyurethane.

    I followed your advice on using turpentine to determine whether or not I can just put another coat of whatever the original finish was. What I found was that in some areas (around knobs, etc.) the application of the turpentine did bring the color back and so I think I could get away with that, but in other areas it did not (there are two spots where it appears that the finish was mechanically removed-these areas did NOT get darker with the application) Should i even attempt to try and spot stain these areas or is this likely to create a bigger problem?

    I have tried cleaning the wood with Murphy's but it isn't having much impact on the worst gunk- and I made the mistake of scrubbing some areas which effectively took the finish off-what would you recommend?

    Thanks for all your help!
    try 4/0 steel wool very fine with a little turpintine
    Harry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    I'm more inclined to think you have a varnish finish. You might try Formby's Furniture Restorer http://www.formbys.com/. Because it dissolves the finish you may be able to wipe it across the bare areas and pick up the color you need if the areas are small enough. (check their video to see how it works)Personally I don't use shellac but is my understanding that applying alcohol would dissolve it.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    I'll give it a try, and thank you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Refinishing areas of trim

    If it's shellac, then it's easy to patch. Just clean the affected area with mineral spirits, maybe a little fine steel wool. Then apply the shellac in thin layers until it matches. When totally dry, a little fine steel wool will knock the shine off of it. Nothing short of a complete strip and refinish will produce a perfectly even finish.

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